Oracle will settle claims that its subsidiaries in Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and India used slush money to bribe foreign authorities to obtain business by paying roughly $23 million (almost Rs. 190 crores), the US Securities and Exchange Commission announced on Tuesday.
This is the second time the SEC has accused Oracle of breaking the federal Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), which prohibits bribery, concerning alleged violations between 2014 and 2019.
The regulator claims that Oracle’s subsidiaries in the UAE and Turkey allegedly broke Oracle standards by using slush money to pay for foreign dignitaries to attend technology conferences.
The SEC said that employees of the Turkey section also paid for the spouses and kids of the officials to go with them or support them using the monies to Los Angeles and Napa Valley, California.
Charles Cain, head of the SEC’s FCPA branch, said, “The formation of off-book slush funds inevitably gives rise to the possibility that money may be utilized unlawfully, which is precisely what happened here.
The Austin, Texas-based Oracle agreed to pay a civil penalty of $15 million (about Rs. 120 crores) and around $7.9 million (roughly Rs. 60 crores) in disgorgement and interest. In deciding to settle, it made no admissions or denials of wrongdoing.
Oracle spokesperson Michael Egbert said, “If we find the such activity, we will take necessary action. The conduct described by the SEC is opposed to our fundamental principles and explicit standards.
Oracle agreed to settle SEC claims in 2012 by paying a $2 million (roughly Rs. 16 crores) acceptable concerning creating millions of dollars of unauthorized side funds by Oracle India from 2005 to 2007.